In an art-deco building in the heart of Brussels, Belgium’s leading scientists gather daily to announce the country’s coronavirus toll. It’s been grim reading. Despite having only 11 million people, the country has reported more deaths from the disease than China. With some 57 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, it has the highest per-capita death rate in the world -- almost four times that of the U.S. According to Belgian officials, the reason for the grisly figures isn’t overwhelmed hospitals -- 43% of intensive-care beds were vacant even at the peak of the crisis -- but the country’s bureaucratic rigor. Unlike many other countries, the home of the European Union’s top institutions counts deaths at nursing homes even if there wasn’t a confirmed infection. “We often get criticism -- oh, you’re making Belgium look bad -- we think it’s the opposite,” Steven Van Gucht, head of the viral disease division at the Sciensano … [Read more...] about COVID-19: Why does Europe’s capital have such high death rates?